After two days in the Meeks Patch anchorage (just two miles from Spanish Wells Settlement), we decided to take a slip at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven since the trades were blowing a steady 20 knots – making the slog in the dinghy a bit uncomfortable. What an awesome decision!
We wound our way through the shallows of the Western approach to Spanish Wells and into the harbor area which was pretty tight, but well dredged. Leroy (Dockmaster) met us at the dock and helped us secure the lines and get connected. The marina is a mini-resort with on-site accommodations; a restaurant /bar called Wreckers and a pool. Nice place…dog friendly and well kept with new docks.
Spanish Wells is a quaint town. It’s locals clearly take great pride in its appearance as the many small homes that make up its interior are clean, well kept and brightly painted. The yards had gardens and sea-scape arrangements to enjoy as we walked and everyone waives or offers a ride as they pass by in golf carts and small compacts. Spanish Wells boasts an abundant lobster population…the ones we looked for must have been on holiday? However, we saw no less than 2 lobster boats go in and out on high tides each day…not sure what they were catching, but they look like shrimp boats towing 2-4 smaller center console skiffs.
Since winds were expected to blow over 20 knots for the week, Kimberly arranged for a rental car with the marina office and we ferried over to Eleuthera (proper) to pick it up and explore what it had to offer. Our plan was to spend the day with the car and see what tempted us to stop and look.
First stop was the Glass Window Bridge…the narrowest bit of land separating the Atlantic from the Caribbean Sea. The surf on the Atlantic side was powerful, displaying wild explosions of spray as it chews away at the rock cliffs and hollows on the Eastern side of Eleuthera. Just being there, looking down into the churning foam and swell demands nothing but the greatest respect for an angry ocean. In contrast, on the West side (through the Glass Window), the water was as calm and inviting as a Caribbean postcard.
The next stop was the Queens Baths…a grotto carved out of the Eleuthera cliffs where the ocean’s rage has chiseled our deep tub-like pools where the surf reaches up, fills the holes and runs back down again to rinse, lather and repeat.
We went on to Hatchet Bay where we briefly stopped to explore Hatchet Bay Cave (inland) but as you descend into the cave, it takes you toward the Caribbean Sea (almost a half mile) underground. Although we had flashlights and cameras, it was really dark and slippery to negotiate. What a eerie feeling being deep underground in that place not knowing what was around the next bend as we descended into blackness.
From Hatchet Bay we headed South to Governor’s Harbour (capital of Eleuthera) and stopped around in the Settlement a bit before returning North to check out Preachers Cave-a site where many shipwrecked by the Devil’s Backbone Reef and the first settlers of Eleuthera sought refuge.
Our “land” adventure was well worth the effort and we returned the rental and hopped the ferry back to Spanish Wells for dinner and a well deserved night’s sleep at the dock.
Mother Nature apparently had other plans for us as we did not explore the Eleutheras by boat (windy, windy, windy)…but we really had a good time by car!
Stay tuned…Next stop…Exumas!!!